Vox in America 1964 - notices and ads
Below, a growing compendium of notices relating to the arrival of Vox guitars and amplifiers during the course of 1964. Some of the Californian material is also on this page.
The earliest US catalogue - "The Million Dollar Sound" catalog from the last quarter of 1964 - is available here.
It would be quite something to know how many AC80/100s were among these exports - presumably for the most part late copper and early black panelled amps. Serial numbers 225 and 226 are likely to have been in one of the early shipments. The earliest dated photograph showing an AC100 in the States not belonging to an English band is from mid April '65 - on this page.
"Arlington Heights Herald", 17th September 1964 - three weeks or so after JMI had agreed to provide the million dollar's worth of equipment (£534,000 then) to Thomas Organ.
The immediate recipient was the "Thomas Organ Studios", Golf Mill Shopping Center. Given that the deal between Jennings and Thomas was signed around 24th August, one has to wonder how large the first shipment was. Perhaps simply a sizeable proportion of everything that Jennings had in stock at the time - i.e. things not already allocated to shops and dealers in the UK and Europe.
Towards the end of the month, the news was reported in an advert placed by "King Music" in the Albuquerque Journal, 28th September: "Coming Soon. The VOX Guitar and Amplifiers used Exclusively by the BEATLES".
"Albuquerque Journal", 28th September, '64.
A consignment apparently reached "King Music Co. Inc." late in October, reported in a very small ad:
"Albuquerque Journal", 23rd October, '64. The advert in the paper on the 30th September simply repeats September's notice, however, in which amps and guitars are "coming soon".
Quite how Alburquerque - which is a monstrously long stretch from Chicago - received its stock is unknown. Perhaps by road, or a new consignment flown in from England?.
The first illustrated advert appeared a fortnight after the first notice in the "Arlington Heights Herald" - on the 1st October - simultaneously in the "Chicago Herald" (Daily Surburban issue) too:
"Arlington Heights Herald", 1st October, 1964. The advert was repeated on the 8th and 15th October.
Aerial view of the Golf Mill Shopping Center, c. 1967, Niles (Des Plaines), Illinois, north west of Chicago from this thread.
"St Louis Post and Dispatch", 2nd October, 1964. Northland Music Center.
California looks to have had its consignment by October, doubtless distributed to dealers from the Thomas Organ/Warwick Electronics facility at Sepulveda (north Los Angeles) - see this page, which has now been updated.
"San Francisco Examiner", 13th October, 1964.
"Keys to Music" in Van Nuys, which placed a fancy ad in the press in December, certainly had "British Vox" by November:
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 13th November, 1964. Keys to Music.
"Lubbock Avalanche Journal", Texas, 22nd November, 1964. Matheny Music Company. At the foot of the advert: "We handle the Hofner Guitars and the famous Vox amplifiers (the brand and style used by The Beatles!).
"The Times", Munster, Indiana, 17th November, 1964. Hal Morris Music Mart.
"The Times", Munster, Indiana, 23rd November, 1964. Hal Morris Music Mart.
"Wilkes Barre Times", Pennsylvania, 26th November, 1964. Wallace Music Company.
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 29th November 1964.
"Arizona Republic", Phoenix, 30th November, 1964. Totem Music Center.
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 11th December 1964. This, to date, is the earliest instance of this particular advert (reprinted in Valley News on the 13th).
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 13th December 1964, advert placed by Killeen Music, San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank, a short distance to the west of the Thomas Organ / Warwick Electronics facility in Sepulveda.
The store sign of Killeen Music, Burbank, caught in 1968.
"Chicago Tribune", 20th December, 1964. Thomas Organ Studios. Promoting Vox with a picture of a band other than the Beatles. Gerry and the Pacemakers with large-box AC50s and Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five inset. A different photo from the Pacemaker's photo session, which took place in England, late summer 1964, was sent to US dealers as part of a set in 1965. No mention yet of American bands.